madbaker: (disgruntled clown)
We now have somewhat-matching dents on each side of the front bumper.
Also, a tire leak. Again. Remind me never to buy tires there ever again.
madbaker: (disgruntled clown)
The 1000-mile road trip to LA* was good overall. I really enjoy the West Coast Culinary Symposium; it's nerding within a specific subgroup of nerds. We even tried Pea Soup Andersen's, which as a kid I always wanted to do. (Review: meh.)

However, we hit epic traffic even by LA standards. We hit Pasadena around 12:30ish and were in stop-and-go for the next four hours. That did a number on the car: our brand-new tire got a flat (which apparently was the fault of the tire failing, not driving over a nail) and our rear brake pads ground down to nothing. So half the drive home Sunday was on screechy grinding brakes. That was as much fun as it sounds.

I took yesterday off, planning to do laundry, shopping, and relax before the flood of catch-up work today. Instead we spent much of the day at the tire shop. But at least it's fixed now.

(Except for the tire pressure light, which came back on about ten miles from the tire place. Really?)

*Yes, I am aware that we were significantly outside LA proper. (Hemet, for the curious.) To a Northern Californian - even one like me who spent time down there - anything that requires driving in the vague vicinity of LA is LA.
madbaker: (Laurel)
Yesterday's wedding was lovely. It fit them very well, which is the best thing I think you can say about a wedding.

Traffic was appalling. The wedding was scheduled for 4 PM; we left a bit before noon, on the theory that it would take us two hours to get there, leaving plenty of time to check in to our nearby motel, change, and get there. Ha! We got to the room a bit after 3 PM. Everyone was apparently going to the beach in Santa Cruz, the mushroom festival in Gilroy, or the car-racing thingy in Monterey. Stop and go the whole way.

Still, we made it - we got to the theater around quarter to 4. The couple had built in extra time and with all the panicked messages, pushed back the ceremony until 4:45 to allow more people to arrive. We had fun.

Getting a motel room nearby turned out to be the absolute right choice; there was a car accident in Salinas which caused yet more traffic jams. If we'd tried to drive back it would have been another 3+ hours, and this time it would have been fighting sleep. Instead we had an adequate, relaxing night; a better-than-expected breakfast at a local diner; and an easy trip back marred only by the Giants not playing well on the radio.

Scallops are cooking sous vide and chicken legs will follow for tomorrow night's dinner. Today should be a nice low-key day - what's left of it, anyway.

madbaker: (disgruntled clown)
Car window smashed again. The last time was July. This time at least they didn't steal the car; they just took the $4 in quarters, destroying the coin tray. We'd locked the glove compartment, so they pried it (mostly) off trying to get into it.

Appointments made for replacements with our insurance blah blah blah. Last year was the first time in over ten years that this has happened - our neighborhood is generally pretty safe. The second time in less than twelve months - I think we're getting rid of the other car and parking this one in the garage full time. I am totally sick of this shit and now that they've discovered this stretch of street as a target, I don't think it will stop.

How will this affect our packing and Beltane attendance next weekend? We know the window won't be replaced until next Wednesday (we usually pack Thursday). No clue yet as to when the glove compartment fix will happen. Theoretically it shouldn't take as long as, say, installing a brand new bumper. But stay tuned, I guess. I'm not wild about packing and driving with a glove compartment dangling from the dash; but I also don't particularly want to miss the event.

Ouch

Dec. 12th, 2014 08:34 am
madbaker: (disgruntled clown)
I took the car in this morning for an oil change. I took it to the dealer because I needed to replace the rear windshield wiper after jerkface broke it off to try to break in.

...wear and tear leading to more work. The biggest item? Replacing struts, which given how we overload the car for SCA events is not surprising. The projected cost is, um, significantly more than the initial oil change. I don't believe they're upselling so much - they've been pretty honest in the past. Just that the car is 11 years old and has 115k miles.

But, um, ouch.

madbaker: (disgruntled clown)
Yes, I keep using that header. Sadly, it continues to be apropos.
I discovered yesterday that someone had wrenched my rear-window wiper off. And then dumped it right by the driver's door, where I'd be sure to find it. Ha ha, jerkface.

Second time that's happened. The joys of parking on the street where douchewaffles walk by.

madbaker: (Nubian?)
Dear San Francisco Muni:
Why is it that when walking the twenty-minute leg home from BART, I see anywhere from two to five 48 buses going the other way - but generally zero in my direction? I don't mind the walk, as it's flat and has so far been decent weather. But this clumping makes no sense.
No love,
Me

madbaker: (Bugs Bunny)
I washed my car Thursday. (It was more about shampooing the carpets and getting invader psychic stink out.) Today it is raining.

We need the rain, so I'm glad about that - but did it really need to start when I had the hot smoker left out overnight after smoking a roast chicken? Now I'll not only have to wipe it down and oil it to lower the amount of rust we get, but I also have two pans of charcoal ash water to deal with.

madbaker: (Robin)
The car is back. Apparently we paid for Lo-Jack when we bought it, so 45 minutes after the police came by and filed the report, they located the car. Dumped in the Bayview (shocker!), which is a crappy neighborhood a mile+ away.

The damage I can see: broken window, obviously. That's being fixed today. A few new bumper scrapes on both sides because clearly they cared about driving this carefully. [sarcasm] Those will be fixed Monday. I was honest and didn't attribute the huge bumper dent from a few years back to the joyride. I'll ask the body shop to fix that but at our expense. They smoked and left some cigarette butts in the ashtray. How kind of them to use it! [sarcasm] So I'll need to get the car cleaned, also for the psychological "get the invaders' presence out".

I haven't done a complete inventory, but my prescription sunglasses are still there as is the Fastrak. The wife pointed out something I'd missed though: they took the Edward Gorey bean-bat that was on my dash.

This is something she gave me quite a few years ago. I've always had a bat in my car dating back to high school, when we did a very silly Batman video project for Drama class. This was an awesome one, because it's Gorey. And now it's gone. At best given to some kid, most likely tossed with whatever other crap they grabbed from the other cars and couldn't immediately fence.

A very quick check shows that replacements go for anywhere from $150 to $500. Presumably because they were made while Gorey was still alive. I'm not a collector, and can't justify paying that kind of money in any case.

But... if we can't replace the bat, that actually hurts the most from this whole sordid little affair. Because it's an emotional loss that isn't even valued by the thieves.

madbaker: (disgruntled clown)
Some time last night there was a smash-and-grab down much of the street. We got the lottery ticket: they stole our car.

Normally this isn't a problem in our neighborhood, but there it is. Police report filed and insurance notified. All we can do is wait and see if it's dumped somewhere, and if so in what condition.

No real losses other than the car. My prescription sunglasses and the Fastrak.

madbaker: (demons of stupidity)
Well, that was an unproductive and rage-inducing outing.

madbaker: (disgruntled clown)
My annoyance at a car alarm going off is tempered by the fact that it has a galliard beat. If my car alarm was like that, I'd probably "accidentally" set it off more often.

madbaker: (Pulcinella)
Long, but pretty drive down 280 and 17 to Boulder Creek for GSP auditions yesterday. It's always fun to hang out with the group - one reason why we still do it, I'm sure. I have a part. I didn't have any preference going in, so while I'm not super-excited at the role, I'm not disappointed in the least, either. (And that could have been said regardless how I was cast.) I don't think I have a handle yet quite how I'll play it. Well, that's what rehearsals and directors are for.

I took Skyline a good distance home. Windy and narrow, but I wanted to take a different route back. Labor Day traffic meant that I didn't get home until 6:30-7. So we had a simple dinner of duck confit Nicoise salad (minus the olives - the wife isn't overly fond) which was extremely tasty. I'm dragging a bit this morning; but I should get back to work.

So.

Jul. 24th, 2012 12:48 pm
madbaker: (disgruntled clown)
I got a traffic ticket in the mail last week. I was caught on camera doing something illegal - the ticket doesn't seem to specify. I assume that it's failing to come to a complete stop, or turning right on a red light. But for all I know it's for possession of an Edward Gorey bat on my dashboard.

I'm kind of annoyed at this. My last ticket was for speeding when I was 20. But hey, whatever.
Then I got the ticket in the mail. It's... for a lot more money than I expected. If I want to waste a day going to traffic school to avoid a car insurance hike, I then have to pay a 15% surcharge, on top of whatever the traffic school charges.

Low-hanging fruit for cities that want money. But I doubt I did anything for which a cop would have pulled me over had one been stationed there.

madbaker: (disgruntled clown)
The drive home was long: about nine hours, plus a dinner break. The wife observed that instead of a death march, a better metaphor was the Trail of Tears (as we were packing up our entire belongings and moving). Except that this was a ToT Lite, and thus more appropriately termed a Trail of Sniffles.

madbaker: (disgruntled clown)
Getting a new timing belt and rear brake pads was an expensive way to have the car washed.

What I'm reading: Sandor Katz, The Art of Fermentation

madbaker: (disgruntled clown)
The last three months there's been sewer work on our street. They've been tearing up pavement, laying pipe, leaving a two-inch trench in front of our garage for weeks until I complained about it (fair enough, they then filled it the next day).

Now they're doing more work of some sort, and they have both sides of the entire street blocked off for the next eight days.

madbaker: (disgruntled clown)
I took the car in for servicing Thursday. They're still waiting for a part to arrive.
Oddly for me, I'm not annoyed. Perhaps because I'm working from home, so I'm not terribly inconvenienced by having a cheap loaner car.

madbaker: (disgruntled clown)
This is not a complaint. Really - I'd do it all again without question, because that's what family does. But I drove waaaaay too much this weekend.

Friday I drove home, packed a bag quickly, and turned around to drive the wife and brother-in-law to Sonora for their grandmother's funeral. Because it was Friday evening, the drive to Livermore took two hours (!) and we got in shortly before 10.

The funeral went well Saturday, as these things go. One of the wife's cousins gave a very moving speech to open the service. Lots of relatives and friends. As the wife noted, her 96-year-old grandmother was a pretty amazing woman.

We were bushed Saturday night so we three walked across the street from the motel and had better-than-expected barbecue, along with beer and me constantly checking the phone for the Giants' progress. I turned on the TV in the room for the last couple innings, telling them "I hope you don't mind, but I don't really care if you don't - I'm watching it." (They were fine with it.)

Then Sunday morning I drove back, turned around and drove to rehearsal. Since I'm missing next week it was important to go. Good but tiring rehearsal, followed by more driving home. I went to bed at 8 PM and slept pretty soundly...

madbaker: (disgruntled clown)
First day of new job went fine. The commute, less so. I need to find a new way back through San Francisco after 5 PM...

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